» 05/30/2014, 00.00
Yogyakarta, Islamic extremists attack a group of Catholics gathered in prayer
The raid targeted faithful of the parish of the Holy Family of Banteng, praying the rosary and practicing hymns for Sunday. The host and owner of a small publishing house in the area brutally beaten. Archbishop of Semarang calls for thorough investigations. Sources told AsiaNews: "In the past fundamentalist groups attacked Ahmadis in the area".
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A group of Islamic extremists in the
area of Besi have brutally and violently attacked faithful of the parish of the
Holy Family of Banteng , in the area north of Yogyakarta (island of Java). Church
sources in Semarang confirm the attack took place at 9 last night when
Catholics held their weekly meeting to pray the Rosary and practice their
Sunday hymns. Local witnesses report that, suddenly, a group of Islamic
fundamentalists raided the private house owned by a local Catholic leader,
throwing stones and rocks. The assailants brutally beat him and then fled in
At the time the owner, Julius Felicianus, was not at home;
informed of events, he left friends and colleagues and returned home to assess
the situation in person.
However, as soon as he crossed the threshold of the
house, the Islamic extremist group made a second and more violent attack: the Islamists
stormed the apartment, assaulting Felicianus - Director of Galang Press, a
small publishing house local - with stones and an iron bar. The group also hit
him over the head with an earthenware vase causing a deep wound. What is striking is the fact that they wanted
to target him and other members inside the house as well as some journalists,
who arrived on the scene.
The reasons for the attack is unknown. It is also unclear
whether they wished to target the publisher in particular, or the entire
Catholic community. The incident has caused shock and fear among the faithful
who fear new attacks.
Interviewed by AsiaNews, the Archbishop of
Semarang Msgr. Johannes Pujasumarta reports that the reasons behind the attack
should be investigated quickly and clearly; he hopes for thorough
investigations, not only by the police, but also "the local Catholic
community " and the results will be handed over "to the authorities
for further investigation". Sources engaged in interreligious dialogue
recall that the area is known for the presence of various Islamic
organizations, moderate and extremist; the latter have become protagonists in
the past of violent attacks against the Muslim Ahmadi minority.
Indonesia is the most
populous Muslim nation in the world. Increasingly however, it has become the
scene of attacks or episodes of intolerance against minorities, whether they
are Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or belong to other faiths. Aceh is the only
Indonesian province where Sharia (Islamic law) is enforced, following a peace
agreement between the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Yet,
in many other areas of the country, a more radical and extreme vision of Islam
is spreading among ordinary Indonesians. Certain rules such as the infamous building
permit (Izin Mendirikan Bangunan or IMB in Indonesian) have been used to
prevent the construction of Christian places of worship or stop construction
already underway, as was the case for the Yasmin Church in West Java. In December last year, at least five Christian places of
worship have had to close their doors due to pressure from Islamists.
02/12/2013 INDONESIA - ISLAM
North Sumatra: Hundreds of Islamists attack Protestant community during prayer service
A group of FPI members stopped the Sunday services of the Hkbp in Binjai . Fundamentalists threaten Christians, who are forced to leave under police escort. Attack sparked by false accusations of promoting religious activities in a building without permission. A case pending for more than five years.
Christian leaders: religious freedom at risk if Subianto wins presidential elections
Concerns over the political manifesto of the former general’s Gerindra Party, that would pave the way for state interference in religion. The government "obliged" to verify the application of religious freedom. Minorities at risk, particularly Ahmadis, Shias, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. Subianto also supported by radical Islamist wing.
West Java, Islamists block construction of a Catholic Church
Fundamentalists target Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Cibubur, Bekasi regency. The local court points to danger of “sectarian violence", gives in to intimidation and stops the project. The priest presents all of the necessary permits and confirms: "The construction will continue, so far 70% of the structure built".
South Sumatra, hundreds of Islamists block the construction of a Protestant church
An armed mob has occupied a plot of land owned by the Christian community Huria Kristen Batak Protestan. Raid motivated by lack of building permit. The leadership of the Hkbp lodges IMB application in 2011, to no avail . The Minister for Religious Affairs orders the termination of the project.
No more solitary confinement for three Catholics on death row
Indonesian law stipulates that convicts facing execution should be kept apart in a special cell. The decision has rekindled hopes for Tibo and his friends but the Attorney General has assured a new date would soon be set for their execution.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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